Ricoh reseller Downs Office Equipment & Supplies has helped with the deployment of a $1 million digital learning platform throughout Our Lady of the Southern Cross College in Dalby, Queensland.
The digital learning platform consists of 40 Ricoh interactive white boards linked to a learning management system (LMS), which connects to students’ laptops and allows them to access lessons and resources.
The upgrade comes as a replacement for a number of ageing classroom devices and technologies, some of which faced poor installation and connectivity issues.
Peter Cuskelly, principal of the college, said smart boards had been used in the past, but had faced technical issues and staff were questioning their viability.
“The smartboard idea broke down, as many of our previous devices were becoming unusable, but we still wanted to bridge the technology gap, to enhance student learning and support our teachers,” Cuskelly said.
“We realised we needed to re-evaluate our strategy and determine whether we had the best technology mix.”
After first meeting with the college's long-time provider Downs Office Equipment & Supplies in June 2018 over this issue, Cuskelly said the college considered its options, and wanted to use technology that could last up to a decade of usage.
Following an audit from both Ricoh and Downs Office Equipment & Supplies in July 2018, the College decided to undergo a testing and trial phase from August to September 2018. The project was approved in late November 2018 and the interactive white boards and learning management system were deployed over December 2018 to January 2019 to be ready in time for the start of the 2019 school year.
Six months after the deployment, the overhauled system has seen extensive use in most lessons, allowing for teachers to stop carrying laptops, notes and books and giving students access to coursework online, allowing for easier access on missed lessons and revision for assignments.
“Our staff are better planned and prepared and there’s greater clarity for students,” Cuskelly said. “Everything that’s done in the class is available to students 24/7 via the LMS.
“It gives them the ability to read through lessons, focus on the most pertinent aspects and spend time improving their capabilities. In turn, we’d expect their results to continue to improve.”